Qimage Ultimate follows in the footsteps of Qimage Lite, Pro and Studio, programs we've mentioned many times on this news page over the years, and indeed, have used regularly ourselves. Features of the current Qimage line range from printing (the original forte and reason behind the program's existence) through image editing, to filtering, batch-processing, management, comparison, slide-shows and more.
Qimage Ultimate is supported on all versions of Windows from 95 through to Windows 7, and has an all-new, skinnable user interface that's aimed at improving both ease of use and efficiency. Flash card downloading, previously handled by a separate application called Flashpipe, is now a built-in part of Qimage Ultimate itself. The new program also has what ddisoftware is calling "Lightning Raw" technology, which is intended to combine the benefits of both Raw and JPEG images. Essentially, Lightning Raw automatically develops and caches raw images on import, so that there's no additional processing time on review, just the same as a JPEG image. When Raw processing parameters are tweaked, the cached image is reprocessed automatically, and the cache updated to reflect the changes. Qimage Ultimate has also been redesigned so that EXIF header data in JPEG and TIFF files won't be stripped during image processing, and the previous unlock code system has been replaced by an email-based registration system.
Qimage Ultimate pricing is set at $90 for a downloadable version, the exact same pricepoint previously occupied by the then-flagship Qimage Studio downloadable version. Unlike Qimage Lite, Pro, and Studio, there's not currently any option to purchase Qimage Ultimate on CD. Where Qimage Lite, Pro, and Studio previously included free lifetime updates, Qimage Ultimate now includes one year of free updates, after which users must pay $20 per year for continued updates. Customers who purchased Qimage Studio in the last thirty days will receive a 20% discount on purchasing Qimage Ultimate, while other Qimage customers must pay the full price to purchase the new program.
Qimage Lite, Pro, and Studio will all continue to be available, but with a hold on addition of new features, and a reduced update frequency, now that ddisoftware's focus has shifted to Qimage Ultimate development. Updates for the older Qimage versions will be restricted to the addition of new camera raw file formats, bug fixes, and changes to existing features as required to maintain compatibility with current drivers and other software. Qimage Lite and Pro pricing remains unchanged, with a Lite download priced at $35, or Pro at $50. Qimage Studio pricing has been dropped by $10 to $80, and copies of Lite, Pro, or Studio on CD can be purchased for a further premium of $10.
More details can be found on the ddisoftware website.